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by [?]

But enthusiasts who ebulliate at low temperature are plentiful. The world wagged on in its sleepy way, and it was not until Eighteen Hundred Twenty-eight that an Englishman, Sir David Wilkie, following up the clue of Mengs, began quietly to buy up all the stray pictures by Velasquez he could find in Spain. He sent them to England, and the world one day awoke to the fact that Velasquez was one of the greatest artists of all time. Curtis compiled a list of two hundred seventy-four pictures by Velasquez, which he pronounces authentic. Of these, one hundred twenty-one were owned in England, thirteen in France, twelve in Austria and eight in Italy. At least fifteen of the English ‘oldings have since been transferred to America; so, outside of England and Spain, America possesses more of the works of this master than any other country. But of this be sure: no “Velasquez” will ever leave Spain unless spirited out of the country between two days–and if one is carried away, it will not be in the false bottom of a trunk. Within a year one “Velasquez” was so found secreted at Cadiz, and the owner escaped prison only by presenting the picture, with his compliments, to the Prado Museum at Madrid. The release of the prisoner, and the acceptance of the picture, were both a bit irregular as a matter of jurisprudence; but I am told that lawyers can usually arrange these little matters–Dame Justice being blind in one eye.

There seems to have been some little discussion in the De Silva family of Seville as to whether Diego should be a lawyer, and follow in his father’s footsteps, or become an artist and possibly a vagrom. The father had hoped the boy would be his helper and successor, and here the youngster was wasting his time drawing pictures of water-jugs, baskets of flowers, old women and foolish folk about the market!

Should it be the law-school or the studio of Herrera the painter?

To almost every fond father the idea of discipline is to have the child act just as he does. But in this case the mother had her way, or, more properly, she let the boy have his–as mothers do–and the sequel shows that a woman’s heart is sometimes nearer right than a man’s head.

The fact that “Velasquez” was the maiden name of his mother, and was adopted by the young man, is a straw that tells which way the vane of his affections turned. Diego was sixteen and troublesome. He wasn’t “bad”–only he had a rollicksome, flamboyant energy that inundated everything, and made his absence often a blessing devoutly to be wished. Herrera had fixed thoughts about art and deportment. Diego failed to grasp the beauty and force of these ideas, and in the course of a year he seems to have learned just one thing of Herrera–to use brushes with very long handles and long bristles. This peculiarity he clung to through life, and the way he floated the color upon the canvas with those long, ungainly brushes, no one understood; he really didn’t know himself, and the world has long since given up the riddle. But the scheme was Herrera’s, improved upon by Velasquez; yet not all men who paint with a brush that has a handle eight feet long can paint like Velasquez.

In Herrera’s studio there were often heated arguments as to merits and demerits, flat contradictions as to facts, and wordy warfare that occasionally resulted in broken furniture. On such occasions, Herrera never hesitated to take a hand and soundly cuff a pupil’s ears, if the master thought the pupil needed it.

Velasquez has left on record the statement that Herrera was the most dogmatic, pedantic, overbearing and quarrelsome man he ever knew. Just what Herrera thought of the young man Velasquez, we unfortunately do not know. But the belief is that Velasquez left Herrera’s studio on request of Herrera.